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Condominium issues

neuhaus

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I always look at other units on the same floor. I like to be on the floor that have the least number of units (less neighbours, less problems), and a floor that has the fewest tiny 1-bedrooms and studio units as they are often bought by investors and turned into rentals or Airbnbs which suffers from higher turnover and a lack of pride of ownership.
I would never get a unit next to or close to the elevator or garbage chute, the furthest away from the elevator the better as you are away from a high traffic and noise area and it provides more peace and privacy.
Also doors facing down a hallway is not good for a number of issues. It is bad Feng Shui, noise channels straight down the hallway as well as smoke and odours as they get pushed down to these dead ends. And I don't want the interior of my unit in full view every time I open my door.
 

1sttimehomeowner

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Hello! I'm a first time homeowner and purchased a pre-construction condo which I'm now living in and has been built for a year.

I want to know if cracks on the ceiling or walls common during the first years of the building? I have pointed this out to the property manager and that is pretty much what they said.

Honestly, I've seen so many things in our building that are poorly built like the walls unevenly cut and have spaces to already having water leaking (which they fixed) on the gym and the storage.

I'm just hoping that my concerns about the condo building and unit aren't really something serious.

Thank you!
 

radioheadmike

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If the ceiling is exposed concrete it's fine that you see crack. It's very common. Dry wall tends to have fine crack near the edges , also fine.

Homeownership can be stressful and cause some OCD. Best you don't sweat the little stuff and just enjoy the ride.

Give the building 3-5 yrs to mature.
 

Grahammm

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Hi,
I'm not sure is this the right place to ask this, but couldn't find any other suitable threads.
I'm Graham from North York and I'm planning to buy a new condo here.
I'm a complete novice when it comes to condos. Never purchased a condo before.
Yesterday I found this online: http://www.yourcondos.com/browse-condos/location/north-york/

I don't know whether these guys are good or not, but the online reviews seem okay.
If anyone here knows more about this, please share your opinion.
If anyone knows any good condo agents near North York, please share that too.
 

DSC

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The Ontario government is proposing that the upkeep of many of the Condominium Act FORMS move to the Condominium Authority of Ontario. https://www.ontariocanada.com/registry/view.do?postingId=30327&language=en\

As a Condo Director I am cautiously optimistic that the CAO may be more open to improving the Forms and having them make sense to owners so I think this is a good idea!
 

gregv

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My Mom owns a condo with a terrace. The terraces have gas hookups and the condo allows bbqs, including charcoal. The owner of a unit below uses a Big Green Egg bbq to smoke meat. This takes many hours! The smoke prevents my Mom from using her terrace. The smoke also enters her unit and the smell lingers for days. She has written to the property manager a few times and today she was basically told that they (the condo board) are not going to change the rules re bbqs. She was not requesting that the rules be changed, only that some consideration be given to her right to enjoy her home. Neighbour with the bbq smoker is on the condo board but I am still surprised at the response. An suggestions I can pass on to my Mom? Thank you very much.
 

Davidackerman

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Court rules against developer on deposit fees. From layer Denise Lash -

Condo Developer Unsuccessfully Attempts to Terminate Pre-construction Purchase Agreement and Keep Deposits

In a recent case (Lucas et al v. 1858793 Ontario Inc. o/a Howard Park et al., 2019 ONSC 7402), a condo developer was unsuccessful in its attempt to terminate a pre-construction agreement of purchase and sale and keep the deposits.
Background Facts
In January of 2015, the purchasers entered into an agreement (the “Agreement”) to purchase a unit in a condominium to be constructed. The purchase price was $369,000. Over the course of the next few years the purchasers paid deposits totalling almost $75,000. After the interim occupancy closing in April of 2018, the purchasers paid monthly occupancy fees in the amount of $1548. Although the purchasers took possession of the unit, they did not move in, but allowed someone they knew, Renate Duarte, to move in May 1, on a rent-free-basis without any lease or written rental agreement.
During the summer of 2018 the developer was addressing deficiencies in the unit. The developer advised the purchasers that it could not correct all the deficiencies as Mr. Duarte did not allow the developer access to the unit. In September of 2018 the developer advised the purchasers that the Agreement prohibited leasing of the unit during the interim occupancy period without the developer’s consent. The purchasers immediately responded stating that Mr. Duarte was not leasing the unit as there was no lease and the purchasers were not receiving any compensation from Mr. Duarte. (However, in earlier correspondence between the purchasers and the developer’s employees Mr. Duarte was referred to as the tenant and the purchasers’ insurance documentation indicated that the unit was leased.) Mr. Duarte moved out of the unit on October 1, 2018 after being arrested by the police. No further mention was made of the alleged breach in October or November of 2018.
Meanwhile a dispute arose between the developer and the purchasers about a gauge in the bathtub. The purchasers insisted that the tub be replaced. In communications between the parties in December of 2018 and January, 2019 the developer stated that unless the purchasers signed off on all deficiencies (even though the bathtub had not been replaced) the developer would pursue the purchasers for breach of the Agreement. The purchasers did not back down from their position that the bathtub needed to be replaced and eventually it was replaced by the developer. In February of 2019, after the condominium had been registered, the developer wrote to the purchasers advising that the Agreement was being terminated and all deposits and occupancy fees previously paid were being forfeited as liquidated damages as the purchasers had committed a fundamental breach of the Agreement by leasing the unit without the developer’s consent.
The developer then entered into a new purchase agreement with relatives of one of the principals and directors of the developer. The purchase price of the unit was $418,000, with a $5,000 deposit and $13,000 payable on closing, with the balance of the purchase price to be satisfied by a promissory note.
The purchasers commenced an application requesting relief from forfeiture and specific performance of the Agreement. The purchasers registered a caution on title which prevented the subsequent sale of the unit. At the time that the application was heard, the market value of the unit was estimated to be between $490,000 and $520,000, approximately 40% more than the purchase price in the Agreement.
The Issues
The following issues were before the Court for determination:
  1. Was there a breach of the Agreement by the purchasers?
  2. If there was a breach, was it a fundamental breach that entitled the developer to terminate the Agreement?
  3. If there was a breach, was it waived by the developer?
  4. Were the purchasers entitled to relief from forfeiture and specific performance of the Agreement?
The Outcome
The Court concluded that there was no breach of the Agreement, as there was no lease and no compensation paid by Mr. Duarte for use of the unit – the unit was only being loaned to Mr. Duarte. Even if there had been a breach, the Court determined that it was not a fundamental breach as the developer did not take steps to terminate the Agreement shortly after becoming aware that Mr. Duarte was occupying the unit, but instead, treated the Agreement as still being in force and continued to accept monthly occupancy fees from the purchasers. Accordingly, the developer waived its right to terminate the Agreement and take the deposits as liquidated damages.
The Court ordered specific performance of the Agreement as this would provide the purchasers with a more complete and just remedy for the developer’s failure to close the transaction. Awarding damages would not put the purchasers in the position that they would have been in had the Agreement been performed. In view of the fact that the market value of the unit had increased substantially since the Agreement was signed, the purchasers’ ability to acquire a comparable unit would be detrimentally affected if specific performance of the Agreement was not ordered.
The new purchase agreement was declared null and void, with the Court concluding that it was a sham, as it was a non-arms-length transaction on terms that were not commercially reasonable.
As all of the arguments supporting the developer’s position were rejected by the Court, this was a clear win for
 

DSC

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The City just sent out this Press Release - while the ideas are good it is now virtually impossible to buy hand sanitizer, sprays, masks or other PPE. Even our regular suppliers say "maybe by mid-April"....

City of Toronto Media Relations has issued the following:

==========================================



News Release



March 27, 2020



Landlords, Condo Boards urged to adopt new health and safety measures to protect residents from COVID-19



The City of Toronto is urging Landlords and Condo Boards to adopt new health and safety measures to protect residents from COVID-19. Large residential buildings with a high number of units require new practices and a rigorous cleaning routine to prevent viral spread.



Building operators and staff should follow these guidelines to protect residents in vertical communities:



• Alcohol-based hand sanitizer or a hand washing station with soap and water should be placed at all building entrances.

• Alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be available in all common areas that remain open, such as laundry rooms.

• Close non-essential common areas such as bathrooms, gyms, playrooms, playgrounds and other high traffic areas.

• Routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces in common areas, including doorknobs, elevator buttons, light switches, toilet handles, counters, hand rails, touch screen surfaces and keypads, with common household cleaners and disinfectants.

• Organize the building to accept deliveries of essential goods, like medications, for residents to avoid non-essential trips outside.

• Post signage limiting the number of residents allowed in common areas, including laundry rooms and elevators, to ensure that individuals are able to maintain a two-metre distance. Consider allowing a maximum of three residents at a time in elevators.

• When showing units or suites for sale or lease, practice physical distancing - keep a safe distance of two metres from the resident and wash hands with soap and water, and or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, before and after the visit.



Additional information regarding General Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Guidance for Commercial or Residential Buildings can be found here: https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/u...e-for-Commercial-or-Residential-Buildings.pdf
 

tripwire

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My condo shut down the common area like gym, party room, etc. sometime mid-last week. They've been doing an awesome job at keeping the elevators and lobby area cleaned. They are also doing door-to-door parcel delivery which I have mixed feelings about - I feel like our concierge folks have better things to do than being part-time delivery folks.

We also got an email yesterday that said to stop STR like AirBnB. Seems very toothless and not really enforced though. Thankfully the condo doesn't have a big STR issue like others.
 

Richard White

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My condo shut down the common area like gym, party room, etc. sometime mid-last week. They've been doing an awesome job at keeping the elevators and lobby area cleaned. They are also doing door-to-door parcel delivery which I have mixed feelings about - I feel like our concierge folks have better things to do than being part-time delivery folks.

I do the Concierge bit for a living and I have been run ragged for the past few days coordinating the mess at my work. We are not bringing up packages or food to anyone who is not isolated. We are only dropping off food and parcels to those in isolation because they cannot come down themselves and need things.

I have gone grocery shopping for people, forwarded parcels to other cities for people who have relocated during the pandemic and I am also currently babysitting two condos for an owner is not living on site.

Happy to do it but it it is tiring.
 

DSC

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I do the Concierge bit for a living and I have been run ragged for the past few days coordinating the mess at my work. We are not bringing up packages or food to anyone who is not isolated. We are only dropping off food and parcels to those in isolation because they cannot come down themselves and need things.

I have gone grocery shopping for people, forwarded parcels to other cities for people who have relocated during the pandemic and I am also currently babysitting two condos for an owner is not living on site.

Happy to do it but it it is tiring.
If you are doing work for individual owners on 'work time', the Corporation could be questioned by (other) owners on the use of Corporation funds. Of course, in these exceptional circumstances I doubt anyone would object to limited 'neighbourly help' (delivering packages and food) but I wonder if babysitting condos for absent owners and shopping would pass the test.
 

Richard White

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If you are doing work for individual owners on 'work time', the Corporation could be questioned by (other) owners on the use of Corporation funds. Of course, in these exceptional circumstances I doubt anyone would object to limited 'neighbourly help' (delivering packages and food) but I wonder if babysitting condos for absent owners and shopping would pass the test.

The babysitting is in another building not my own. I know someone who owns a few units at Ice Condos along with one at my work. He lives in Brampton so I am keeping an eye on it while vacant incase something happens (floods, etc). Yes Ice has banned STRs for the time being but the owner does not want to come down here during a pandemic so he has me keeping an eye on the units given that I work in the area.

The packages and food were directions from my management office. They do not want people leaving their units if they are in self-isolation so we are being accommodating.

My building and the residents are very understanding in the situation. They know we are all in this together.
 

Davidackerman

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Condo AGMs and Covid - Electronic voting.,

This is from Condo lawyer Denise Lash

Last week we were recommending postponing AGMs in accordance with the April 24th Order in Council. The Order in Council permitted those condo corporations with AGMs required to be held within the emergency period, the ability to postpone their AGMs until 90 days from the date that the emergency period ends.

Why the recommendation?

Many condo corporations feel uneasy about moving to a completely virtual meeting platform and have expressed concerns about rushing into this form of meeting. Some have been waiting to see if a better option is to do a hybrid meeting at a later date, so that owners can both attend in person and have the option of viewing the meeting and voting on line.

There was also an issue with the wording in the Order in Council which provided that virtual meetings and electronic voting (without a by-law) would only be permitted during the emergency period only. This would result in having to convert a previously called meeting which date fell after the emergency period ended, to a proxy or in person meeting without the ability to hold it virtually and doing the vote electronically.

Now What?

Well now things have changed, yet again. Bill 190 received Royal Assent today. This Bill now clarifies that virtual meetings and electronic voting can still be used (even without a by-law) for a period of 120 days from the date that the emergency period ends. Big news!!!!

Take away: You can call your AGM within the next 3 or 4 months, hold it virtually and do an electronic vote. Don’t forget to add to the AGM agenda, a Virtual Meeting and Electronic Voting by-law.

dfoster@lashcondolaw.com
 

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